The Village of Melbeta’s (pop. 112) wastewater collection system dated back to the 1930s. A review of the system done in 2004 by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) revealed that the wastewater system was not functioning properly and therefore not meeting the needs of Melbeta residents. The wastewater lagoons had much difficulty retaining water. The collection system was so damaged that it allowed significant amounts of wastewater to enter the highly permeable soil surrounding it. It became apparent to Melbeta residents that the construction of a complete retention system and improvements to the collective system needed to be done. The Village Council worked along with engineers and the Panhandle Area Development District (PADD) to guide the Village in making the necessary decisions about the project and to obtain funding.
In December 2007, the Village of Melbeta was awarded $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The funding was used to draft a final engineering design and construction schedule that outlined the most cost effective and easily implemented way in which to make improvements to the existing wastewater system. Melbeta also received funding from DEQ to complete the project. Ninety-seven of Melbeta’s surveyed population of 138 were low-to-moderate income beneficiaries of the CDBG project.